Tag Archives: Loni Hancock

Op-ed: Why 11 current and former Berkeley elected officials endorse Laurie Capitelli

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We are former and current Berkeley elected officials who are united in our support for Laurie Capitelli as our next mayor. With our direct firsthand experience, we all deeply appreciate Laurie’s love for Berkeley, his trustworthiness, good humor, compassion, decency and intelligence. We urge you to vote for Laurie as your first choice.

Laurie is a team builder. A leader in the campaign to tax the soda industry, Laurie built the broad coalition and served on the steering committee that beat Big Soda. Laurie has the collaborative skills and leadership that are needed to continue the fight for public health and ensure that Alta Bates continues to serve our community.

Laurie is a mediator and consensus builder. Laurie negotiated the groundbreaking $15 minimum wage, bringing together labor, businesses and nonprofits in a historic agreement. Prior to this achievement, Laurie co-authored and led the passage of two $15 minimum wage measures in 2015 and 2016, which were among the most progressive wage measures in the nation, reaching $15 several years faster than the state of California.

Laurie believes in the transformative power of education and has raised millions of dollars for our public schools. As a former school teacher, Laurie is committed to closing Berkeley’s achievement gap by establishing universal preschool. It’s no surprise that every endorsing School Board member supports Laurie. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Cuba commits funds to Berkeley ‘Sister City’ water project

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In what might be an indication of warming relations and cooperation, the Cuban Government has committed over one million dollars in Cuban currency to a project designed by UC Berkeley river restoration experts to help restore Cuba’s longest river, the Cauto.

The project will divert sewage from Berkeley’s “Sister City,” Palma Soriano, from polluting the Cauto River, into a series of ponds which will clean the water using gravity, the sun, aeration and natural cleaning methods. Safe but nutrient rich … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, State Senator Loni Hancock, challenge us to save as much water as them

Mayor Tom Bate's new water conservation challenge hopes to raise awareness about California's serious drought. Photo: Steve Johnson
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has announced a city-wide water-conservation challenge with the chance for Berkeley residents to win “fame, appreciation, and a free lunch,” the latter with him and his wife, State Senator Loni Hancock.

Bates and Hancock issued the “Bates-Hancock Water Conservation Challenge,” on June 29. The contest pits Berkeleyan against Berkeleyan in a race to see who can reduce their water usage the most in a 2-month billing cycle.

Mayor Bates and Hancock disclosed their own personal water bill which demonstrated that they have reduced their water usage by 68.1% year-on-year in the latest billing period (April 10-June 9) — which equates to 37 gallons per day on average in comparison with 116 gallons in 2013. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s influence on Assembly race takes a twist

California State Capital. Photo by Thomas W. Toolan, Wikimedia Commons
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By Kate Darby

Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s primary election for the District 15 Assembly seat, history is in the making in Berkeley. For the first time in several decades, this assembly race doesn’t include a candidate with direct ties to Berkeley City Hall, though one has garnered a slate of endorsements from familiar faces there.

Current District 15 Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley is termed out of office at the end of the year, opening the door to an energized contingent of candidates interested in her seat. The 64% majority Democrat district covers a swatch of the East Bay from north Oakland to Hercules, including the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, and Richmond. … Continue reading »

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Years of work culminate in new Berkeley medical clinic

Officials and staff cut the ribbon to dedicate the new clinic. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Hundreds of people gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of Lifelong Medical Care’s new West Berkeley clinic, and for many of the dignitaries, it was a reunion of sorts.

Amid speeches about the glorious new building and the patient-centric care it will foster, came memories of Berkeley in the 1970s and the push to revolutionize health care. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley legislators play key role in state budget process

State Senator Loni Hancock (left) and State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner speak at a recent rally in front of Berkeley's Main Post Office. Photo: Lance Knobel
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The California legislature is now deep in the throes of the state budget process, with the combined senate and assembly conference committee working to reconcile the differences between the legislative budgets and the governor’s. Decisions happen in a rush of committee meetings and votes: both houses need to approve the budget by June 15 and the final budget act and governor’s signature are required by the end of the month.

Berkeley’s own legislators, State Senator Loni Hancock and State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, are both among their chamber’s four members of the conference committee. So, although no one expects Hancock and Skinner to think about their city’s needs over the state’s, Berkeley represents one-fourth of the decision-making power for this year’s budget.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s political firmament rallies to keep post office

Photo: Lance Knobel
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Mayor Tom Bates, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, and just about a full complement of Berkeley councilmembers gathered on the steps of the city’s main post office this morning to protest its planned sale.

Bates, Hancock and Skinner jointly signed a letter appealing the decision by the U.S. Postal Service. Bates said it was the beginning of a long fight that will include a lawsuit and appeals to the U.S. Congress.

“We’re not going quietly. We’re going to fight this every step of the way,” Bates said. “We are against it and the people of Berkeley are against it.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley to help sister city in Cuba with clean water plan

By Tom Miller

Following Mayor Tom Bates and State Senator Loni Hancock’s December visit to Palma Soriano, Berkeley’s sister city in Eastern Cuba, plans are afoot for a community-built clean water solution for the entire city of 80,000 people.

For the past decade, UC Berkeley researchers have traveled to Palma to work with the community to develop a plan which will blend the deeply spiritual Afro-Cuban based affinity to land and nature with a low-tech, low cost green field sewage treatment plan. The people of Palma’s roots stretch back to Haiti when French slave owners brought slaves to Eastern Cuba when they fled Haiti’s slave rebellion over 200 years ago. … Continue reading »

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Tom Bates and Loni Hancock visit sister city in Cuba

Mayor Tom Bates visited a middle school in Berkeley's sister city, Palma Soriano in Cuba
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Bearing 13 indestructible soccer balls, toys, shampoo, conditioner, and a bunch of T-shirts, Mayor Tom Bates and his wife, State Senator Loni Hancock, recently visited Palma Soriano, Berkeley’s sister city in Cuba.

The soccer balls were the biggest hit.

As soon as Bates, Hancock and the four others in their group arrived at Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider Middle School (named after Che Guevara’s translator), they pulled out the bright blue balls made by Berkeley’s One World Futbol Project. Bates started to play with one ball and even threw a few hoops with it, prompting the students to surge down the school steps and out onto the play yard. … Continue reading »

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How much to mail an absentee ballot? Take your pick

California ballot
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Update, Oct. 18, 2016: We got the official word from the Registrar of Voters office: “You can use 3 Forever stamps to return 4 Voted ballot cards in the mail. Just to let you know we have 24 hour drop boxes within Alameda County that are collected daily. Please check our website at www.acgov.org/rov for the list of drop boxes and locations.”

Update, Oct. 17, 2016: It costs up to $1.36 to send a vote-by mail ballot (formerly known as absentee ballot) in Berkeley in 2016, according to local neighbors who have done the legwork. Another source said it costs $1.10. Last time around, rates also varied. (We have updated this post because we noticed people searching for this information and Google was sending them to this article.)

The information that follows is from the 2012 election.

Original story, Oct. 17, 2012: How much will it cost to mail an absentee ballot? It depends who you ask.

Last week, a reader pointed out to Berkeleyside that the mail-in absentee ballot for the November 2012 election requires extra postage, but that the exact amount needed isn’t specified. … Continue reading »

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City project will transform utility boxes with vibrant art

A painted utility box in Palo Alto
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There are 60 different utility boxes in downtown Berkeley and they are all gray. But not for long.

A new civic art project has plans to transform these dull, bleak and utilitarian boxes, which are owned either by the city or by PG&E,  into a kalidescope of color and art.

Called the “60 Boxes Project,” the idea is to pair patrons with artists who will paint the boxes or make a design that can be transferred to large polymer stickers and be affixed to the boxes.

“We’ve had a very very positive response to this project,” said Elyce Klein, who is coordinating sponsorships for the group, a collaboration between the Earth Island Institute‘s Streets Alive! program and Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission.  “The quality of artwork on the boxes will be very high.”

A wide range of sponsors have already pledged their support for the initiative, including Berkeley High School, Peet’s Coffee, the Downtown Berkeley Association, numerous private schools, businesses, individuals, public officials, and non-profit organizations — even the city’s Mayor, Tom Bates.

Now the 60 Boxes Projects is putting out a call for artists to participate. They must fill out a form and submit examples from their portfolio. Each sponsor will get to choose their own artist. The theme is “sustainability.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Rep ‘roasts’ Susie Medak

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Susie Medak has served as Berkeley Rep‘s Managing Director for 20 years. In this video produced by the theater company — more of a roast than a celebration — artistic director Tony Taccone compares his relationship with Medak as akin to the one between Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton from The Honeymooners. They were famously combative. Rita Moreno, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and State Senator Loni Hancock also share their thoughts.

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Berkeleyside interview: Mayor Tom Bates

Mayor Bates: "people will need to start contributing"
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A couple of items distinguish Mayor Tom Bates’ office from the municipal run of the mill. Among the ceremonial tchotchkes exchanged with foreign mayors, there’s a large bottle of beer labeled AB 3601 and on the wall is a photo of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The Zapata image might be more in keeping with a Berkeley dorm room than the mayor’s office, but it’s in the character of the city that a mayor that is seen as a centrist conciliator has a place in his heart for a revolutionary army leader. (The oddly named beer bottle is a tribute to  Bates’ leading role in passing Assembly Bill 3601 in 1982 which spurred the brew pub movement first in California, then across the nation.)

It’s clear from talking to Bates that social innovations like AB 3601, or the solar financing scheme Berkeley FIRST, are what really get him excited.  He peppers his conversation with references to his long years in the California state assembly, his wife Loni Hancock‘s current tenure in the state senate and — next year — the distinction of being Berkeley’s longest serving mayor.

Berkeleyside sat down with Mayor Bates and his chief of staff, Julie Sinai, last week. The conversation ranged over numerous topics, many suggested by Berkeleyside readers. … Continue reading »

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